AN AUDACIOUS attempt to steal a cash machine with a JCB has caused extensive damage to a 300-year-old bank.
The ATM was ripped from the wall of Barclays Bank in Barrett’s Lane, Needham Market, at around 3.30am on Saturday morning.
But the driver of the digger did not get away with the machine, instead driving away down Barrett’s Lane empty-handed.
The JCB was later found abandoned in a field.
Residents were left undisturbed by the smash and grab, with many reporting that they were not even woken.
Raymond Bloomfield, 90, lives opposite the bank and said his dog barked at the window around the time of the incident, but he was not disturbed.
“You hear a lot of noises in the night so I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but I didn’t hear anything unusual.
“I didn’t know what was happening until the morning when I saw the police swarming around the bank,” he said.
Mr Bloomfield added that his neighbours were on holiday, while another house next door was unoccupied.
Isles & Storer accountants, whose front door is only metres from where the ATM was wrenched from the wall, said their offices were unoccupied a the time.
Barclays, who took over the building in 1896, closed the bank on Monday while engineers made the site safe.
A spokesman said: “ Although the building is safe, there is structural damage and because the property is a listed building it is likely there will be a delay before the ATM can be replaced.”
The damage has now been boarded up and police have begun an appeal for witnesses, including door-to-door enquiries.
They are looking for a white male, who was wearing a baseball cap.
Anyone with information can call Suffolk Police on 101.